Jennifer Lopez wasn’t having it when a director suggested she take her top off.
It was during that discussion when the actress recalled her awkward encounter with a filmmaker, whom she didn’t name, before shooting a scene where she was supposed to do nudity.
“He wanted to see my boobs,” Lopez recalled. “And I was like, ‘We’re not on set.’ And I said no, I stood up for myself. But it was so funny because I remember being so panicked [at] the moment.”
“And by the way, there was a costume designer in the room with me,” Lopez continued. “So there was another woman in the room and he says this and I said no. Luckily, a little bit of the Bronx came out, and I was like, ‘I don’t have to show you my — No. On the set, you can see them.’
“That’s the thing because if you give in, [at] that moment, all of a sudden that person is off and running, thinking they can do whatever they want. And because I put up a little boundary right there and said no, he laid off and then later on apologized. But the minute he walked out of the room, the costume designer was like, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry that just happened.’”
While Lopez didn’t specify the movie where the unwanted request was made, she did describe the fear she felt while stripping down for her recent film, “Hustlers.”
The film, based on the 2015 New York Magazine article titled “The Hustlers At Scores,” follows a group of Manhattan strippers as they discover they can make serious money by turning the tables on their wealthy Wall Street clientele. The story has been compared to that of a “Robin Hood” tale in that the ladies would argue they were stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.
“Hustlers” made over $33 million in its opening weekend.
“With ‘Hustlers,’ this was the first time in a long time that I was actually terrified, really scared, to do that opening [pole dancing] number, which I suggested, of course,” Lopez chuckled. “It was my fault that I was there, to begin with. It wasn’t written in the script. And I was like, ‘No, she’s the big money-maker at the club — she has to show why. We can’t say it, we have to do it. I have to dance on the pole, I have to show them, I have to go there.’”
“Then when I was there and I had the dental floss on, I’m out there in a way I’ve never been,” Lopez told the outlet. “It was so scary, I was so terrified. I have my robe on and there’s 300 extras, all men. I think that was putting myself out there, in a way, deeper than I had ever done physically and emotionally, and playing a character that was that unapologetic in so many ways. It was so different from who I was.”
Despite her lasting success in Hollywood, Lopez told the outlet it hasn’t always been easy dealing with the media scrutiny surrounded her personal life over the years.
“It’s funny, from the beginning, I’ve been really picked out and plagued with that,” Lopez explained. “Lots of stories, lots of lies, lots of things where you’re trying to figure out, ‘How did this happen? How did I become that person?’ What I’ve learned is that none of it matters. And it really doesn’t bother me anymore. I’ve learned that I know who I am, I know what I do, I know I’m a good person, I know I’m just out here working my a-- off and trying to fulfill myself, creatively.
“There was a time in my life when it was such a big part and it was so hurtful and so hard that you think, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore, I don’t want to be the person on the cover of the magazine every week for two and a half years, I don’t. This is crazy. Why me?”
Lopez said that serving as a judge on “American Idol” helped audiences see a new side to her, an artist who was passionate about her craft. Lopez appeared in the singing competition series from 2007 until 2016.
“I think, honestly, ‘American Idol’ helped with that a lot,” said the mother of two. “Of all the things that I’ve done in my career, people actually just seeing me talk about how much I love music and how much I love people and how much of a girl’s girl I am and how much of a crier I am — things shifted.”